THE BIRDS AND THE BEES

“Stanley, you know how bees fly from flower to flower collecting nectar and pollen to feed their young? I wonder if they’re even aware that when they do that, they’re also pollinating all these flowers and plants, you know what I mean?”

“No.”

“Flowers and plants can’t move, Stanley, so how do they pollinate each other?”

“Who cares?”

“The fertilizing pollen sticks to the fuzzy part of the bee, and when it flies to the next flower it drops it there, Stan.”

“Has your life gotten a whole lot better from knowing this?”

“You’re missing the point, Stan. The bees are probably not even conscious that while they look for food, they are actually doing this important job. Do you have any sense of how important pollination is? What would we do without flowers?”

“Pee somewhere else?”

“But flowers and plants are crucial for nature’s habitats and eco-systems, Stanley. Animals rely on plants for their food.”

“An animal that eats plants shouldn’t be called an animal, if you ask me.”

“I’ve seen you snacking on fresh new stalks, Stan, especially after a rain.”

“Only to throw up.”

“The point I’m making, Stanley, is that bees are doing what they need to survive, but in the process of that they are playing a very crucial role in the wellbeing of the planet. And maybe that’s true for the rest of us. Maybe none of us knows what is our true work here. Maybe none of us knows what our life is really about, just like the bees.”

“I know what my life is about.”

“What’s that, Stan?”

“Eating and walking.”

“You don’t really know that, Stanley. Life is so complex that our brains can’t fathom it. All Zen teachers know that.”

“Of course, I forgot. Call me Sensei Stanley.”

“For instance, Sensei Stanley, maybe your most important function, the reason you were put on this earth, was to talk to Minnie.”

“The only thing I ever said to Minnie was to get out of my face you stupid dog. I guess that’s a good reason to be put on this earth, hee hee hee. Far more important than what those bees are doing.”

“How could that be a good reason to be put on this earth, Stanley? How could insulting a sweet dachshund like Minnie be anyone’s big reason for living?”

“Life is so complex your brain can’t fathom it, defective student.”

“Being nasty to young females who adore you, Stan? I don’t get it.”

“It’s not gettable. That’s how you know I’m a good Zen teacher. Nobody gets what I’m saying.”